Problems abroad? Here’s how to get around a language barrier

When Air Dolomiti canceled Stefano Alberti’s recent flight from Florence to Munich because one of its planes broke down, he potentially faced what to many American travelers would be a tall obstacle: a language barrier.

Sunday musings: Italy no-nos, Two-ticket savings, Private MD-WV bridge

Today our first article to ponder is fun. It is a look at what not to do in Italy, a land of legendary excesses. We then look at how to save money by combining airline tickets on your own (or together with a travel agent) and some of the pitfalls of these money-saving maneuvers. Finally, the history of a remote privately-owned bridge connecting West Virginia and Maryland gives us pause — the crush of bureaucracy even in the remote hollows and rivers is amazing.
By |January 27th, 2013|Today|7 Comments|

Sunday musings: Rome’s Pantheon, Chinese bullfighting, Conventions = bad behavior?

These Sunday Musings range from a survey that claims conventions and trade shows breed bad behavior to a video about Chinese bullfighting. And, finally, a look at a remarkable building — the Pantheon in Rome.
By |September 2nd, 2012|Today|2 Comments|

My cruise line left me stranded in Naples — is this voucher the best they can do?

Judith Abramson's western Mediterranean cruise on the Oceania Marina last April did not end well. After a sudden illness, the ship's doctor decided she needed to go to the hospital, and she was unceremoniously disembarked in Naples, Italy, under less than ideal circumstances, she says.

What we’re reading: Cruise ship critics in Venice, Boeing orders inspections of Dreamliners, Private airport screeners again?

Cruise ship critics in Venice try to limit tourists, Boeing orders inspections of Dreamliners, Private airport screeners may be coming back

What we’re reading: Chip & pin credit card hassles, travel looks strong for rest of 2011, fly between two cities in space

Chip & pin credit card problems, travel outlook strong for rest of 2011, fly between two cities in two hours through space

In Venice, every church tells a story

Too many churches - not enough time. While I haven't actually researched the figures, after more than two weeks in Venice I'd be willing to wager that Venice probably has more churches per square kilometer than any other city in Europe, including Rome.
By |August 26th, 2011|Venice|1 Comment|

The Biennale in Venice — contemporary art’s big every-other-year fling

This is my fifth or sixth, maybe eighth, Venice Biennale. I have been coming sporadically for decades, since I was in high school and spending my summers teaching swimming at Lake Garda as part of a camp counselor job I had for several summers.
By |August 23rd, 2011|Today|1 Comment|

Venice videos — three visions taken from different points of view

These are three videos that capture the Venice that I love. They show the majestic buildings, the everyday life, the tattered posters, night, day, vaporetti, gondole, crowds and silent canals.
By |August 16th, 2011|Today|1 Comment|

A tale of two Venices

I've been in Venice for about four days now, enough to feel like an entitled local. Already, I have begun to define "my Venice" from "tourist Venice." That is, the beautiful, tranquil, Venice where one can hear the small wavelets lapping at the sides of gondolas and the crowded, tour group packed Venice where "Joanie, Hank, Honey, Walter, come look at this!" drowns out the other city noises.
By |August 7th, 2011|Venice|7 Comments|